- [Narrator] Gyms may start reopening soon,
after weeks of shutdown
due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
But will it be safe to go back?
During a coronavirus task force news briefing
on April 16th, President Trump revealed
a three-phase plan for opening up America again.
And gyms, along with restaurants,
sporting venues, and places of worship
were on the list of non-essential businesses
given the green light to reopen in phase one.
But whether or not you should sweat in a studio
or a gym remains up for debate.
One major factor is that there's no set consensus
on when it's safe to reopen.
In states, cities, and even counties
are making their own decisions with or without
the okay from public health and infectious disease experts.
And an open gym doesn't necessarily equal a safe gym.
After all, there's also no set protocol
on what gym owners should do to keep everyone safe.
This is Meredith Poppler, she works for IHRSA.
A not-for-profit representing health
and fitness facilities all over the country.
- We think it's so important that gyms open
in phase one or at the governors discretion,
but early in the process.
We truly believe that health clubs are essential
to the communities' health.
We, as the trade association for the industry,
have provided our gym owners with questions
on both safety and operations.
These are questions like,
how far are you going to have to move equipment
away from each other?
How many pieces of cardio equipment
will you have to unplug to keep six feet away?
What are you going to be doing to ensure
that your staff maintains they're area of the club,
to make sure that whatever is touched
is appropriately cleaned and disinfected?
There's a long list of questions.
(pulsating beat music)
- [Narrator] The good news,
while how closely your gym stays on top of cleaning
is up to the owner and your fellow gym goers,
many gyms do have safety top of mind,
and have been planning for reopening
ever since they closed down.
Take Lifetime, a company with over 150 locations
around the country.
They've created a 53 page reopening plan,
which includes increasing the frequency of cleaning,
offering more disinfectant products to clients,
limiting how many clients can be
inside the building and at classes,
using signs and markers to promote social distancing rules,
spacing out weight machines,
only allowing the use of every other cardio machine
and locker in locker rooms,
and temperature checks and face masks for staff.
Fitness studio company ClassPass,
which has over 30,000 partners in 30 countries,
also says they'll reopen classes on the platform
as soon as gyms say they're ready,
likely with reduced capacity.
Of course, despite well-intentioned efforts,
public health officials still stress
that returning to the gym could still be risky.
- I think decisions about whether to return to the gym,
or whether to return to the fitness center or health clubs,
muck like even returning to work,
all have to be taken on a case by case
or really specific basis.
I think one of the most important things
to think about is really that this virus can live
on all different types of surfaces,
sometimes for long periods of time,
whether that be metal or vinyl.
And so, with this in mind,
it's gonna be important to really sanitize.
I think if we are prepared to accept the risk
that we might be taking by coming into contact
with people who may have this virus
and may not show symptoms,
or we're coming into contact with a lot of high-frequency
surfaces that are often touched.
And if we're not really prepared to really take steps
that of course will change our routines,
then I think we might wanna consider
that maybe now is not the best time for us to come
into contact with those things, or to go to gyms really.
- [Narrator] Sill considering returning?
Here's what to keep in mind.
First, don't go back if you don't feel confident
in a gym's cleanliness.
And don't be afraid to call ahead
and ask what your gym is doing
to curb the spread of coronavirus.
When you do go in, remember these important pointers.
Wash or sanitize your hands as often as possible.
Don't touch your face.
Wear a face mask.
Keep at least six feet between you and other people.
Wipe down equipment before and after you use it
and if you can, pack your own wipes
so you'll always have them on hand.
Otherwise, virtual classes seem to be here to stay.
Lifetime is streaming multiple free classes online
from yoga to strength training.
The YMCA is sharing on-demand videos
on their new YMCA 360 platform.
And many studios and gyms,
like Barry's and CorePower Yoga are hosting virtual classes.
And those are just some of your options.
So if you're feeling iffy,
know that there are ways to sweat, no face mask necessary.